Young Left (Sweden)

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Young Left
Ung Vänster
Chairperson Henrik Malmrot[1]
Secretary General Luisa Moncada Escobar[2]
Founded 1903/1970
Headquarters Kungsgatan 84, Stockholm
Membership 964 (2018)
Ideology Socialism[3]
Feminism[4]
Marxism[4]
Mother party Left Party
International affiliation None; former member of the YCI, WFDY and ENDYL
Website www.ungvanster.se


Young Left (Swedish: Ung Vänster) is a socialist, Marxist, and feminist youth organisation. It is the official youth wing of the Swedish Left Party. The organisation calls themselves a ''revolutionary youth organisation with roots in the communist part of the labour movement''.[5]

Ideology[edit]

Young Left is a socialist, Marxist, and feminist political youth organisation committed to organising young people to work for social change that evolved out of the labour movement, with influences from environmentalism, the peace movement, and the feminist movement. Young Left works for social justice and a society characterised by equality, secularism, generous welfare provisions for all citizens, generous immigration policies, and respect for the environment. As its mother party, the Left Party, as well as the Social Democratic Party, Young Left is a strong supporter of the Swedish labour unions and the Swedish model, with conditions of work such as wages being regulated in branch-level collective agreements between the unions and the employers, rather than on individual basis. Ung Vänster has had various names and political alignments over the years, but is continuously characterised by the issues that have been at the centre of its history, such as antifascism, social justice, equality, and justice. During the past years, the main focus of the organisation has been the struggle against growing xenophobia in Sweden (as they mean been witnessed by the electoral success of the Sweden Democrats during the national elections of 2010) and criticism of the right government, and in particular on its privatisations of welfare services and priorities of tax reductions, rather than increased public spending on welfare and investments in infrastructure and renewable energy.

In difference of the Left Party, the Young Left are a revolutionary socialist organisation, not reformist. That means that they want to change the society by a revolution, and not with reforms.[6]

Organisation[edit]

Young Left work together with and support the Left Party and Vänsterns Studentförbund, but makes on the basis of its own analyses independent decisions regarding organisational and political issues.

History[edit]

First congress of SDUF, in 1905

Young Left was founded in 1903 as Socialdemokratiska Ungdomsförbundet (SDUF, Social Democratic Youth League). However, the youth league has clearly attached itself to the left-wing within the Social Democratic Party. At the outbreak of the First World War, the tensions within the party aggravated. In May 1917, the youth league together with the left-wing faction within the party took the initiative to form a new party, Sverges socialdemokratiska vänsterparti (Social Democratic Left Party of Sweden). SDUF became the youth wing of the new party. SSV joined the Communist International in 1919, and was renamed to Sveriges kommunistiska parti (Communist Party of Sweden). Following that, SDUF was renamed to Sveriges Kommunistiska Ungdomförbund (Young Communist League of Sweden), and became the Swedish section of the Communist Youth International.

In 1952, Democratic Youth was founded on the initiative of the party, in order to be a broader youth movement. Until 1958, SKU and DU existed as parallel organisations. In 1958, the two organisations merged and took the name DU.

In 1967, ultra-left elements took over the organisation, and broke away to form Marxist-leninistiska kampförbundet (Marxist–Leninist Struggle League). Reconstruction work started rapidly. In 1970, the organisation was re-baptised as Kommunistisk Ungdom (Communist Youth). By 1973, there was a national organisation in function, and, by 1975, an ordinary congress was held.

Young Left have published the youth magazine Röd Press since 1982, when Young Left lost the rights of its magazine Stormklockan to the Maoist MLK in a trial.

In Sweden, Young Left was one of the many forces behind the large 15 February 2003 anti-war protest.

Under the later years of the 2010s, different members of the Young Left have been excluded because of strong couplings to the Revolutionary Front and the AFA. The national executive board have been doing both official exclusions and cut-offs in these cases. This is because these groups are not deemed compatible with the democratic socialism and anti-racism fight that the Young Left are driving. The party board of the Left Party has also been strongly advising for hard consequences in these situations.[7]

After having had a stable membership of between 1500-2800 for a number of years, membership declined to 964 in 2018 according to Swedish Agency for Youth and Civil Society.[8]

Chairpersons[edit]

Name changes[edit]

  • 1903 Socialdemokratiska Ungdomsförbund (SDUF, Social Democratic Youth League)
  • 1921 Sveriges Kommunistiska Ungdomsförbund (SKU, Young Communist League of Sweden)
  • 1958 Demokratisk Ungdom (DU, Democratic Youth)
  • 1967 Vänsterns Ungdomsförbund (VUF, Youth League of the Left)
  • 1970 Kommunistisk Ungdom (KU, Communist Youth)
  • 1991 Ung Vänster (Young Left)

References[edit]

External links[edit]